My Top 1000 Songs #165: Places That Are Gone

A couple weeks ago, I shared my love for the Plimsouls' "A Million Miles Away." Tommy Keene's "Places That Are Gone" feels like a sequel of sorts, both lyrically and sonically. There's a similar theme of leaving things behind and moving forward; though where "Miles" sounded like a break-up song, there's a little more hopefulness in Keene's vision. And as with that other track, the late Washington, DC-based singer songwriter blends classic jangly rock, power pop, and just a bit of new wave, a song that feels very much a part of the 80s but holds up remarkably well decades later.

"Places" first appeared on a 1984 EP of the same name, a rougher, almost demo-like take; that one can be found on the later Real Underground compilation. But I'm partial to the re-recorded version that opened 1986's terrific LP Songs From The Film. Yeah, there are strains of telltale 80s production, but the polished version has more heft, giving that killer chorus more room to soar.

Live on Conan in '94: